Archive for February, 2005

What I’ve been reading lately

I got some gentle nudge from Jeff this weekend about when I was going to write again. He reminded me that it doesn’t have to be an EPIC – which was a good wake-up call for me. I had set a dumb goal for myself. The very first thing I wanted to write about was Kingdom Come. I picked that partly because I loved it & also because I am currently borrowing it from Jeff & he might actually expect me to return it to him someday.

The problem with this is I want to do a quick re-read before I get started – this was the kiss of death for that idea. I just haven’t carved out the time to go back over it. I don’t know who else is like me but I always have a huge stack of things on my nightstand that I am reading. And you know how busy REAL life gets…

So instead of getting an ode to Kingdom Come, I’m just going to talk about a couple of recent things I’ve been reading – another excellent Jeff suggestion – Thank you Jeff! XOXO

One of the things keeping me away from my assigned reading is the commencement of Astonishing X-men with Joss “Buffy” Whedon. Yes, I KNOW he’s not just the “Buffy guy” but Buffy (most of the time – I still can’t get over whiny Dawn – ick) rocked. Now I am as much about fab artwork as anyone but what Joss brings to the book is the same thing that hooked me to Buffy & Co. – great, snappy, dialogue & – hallelujah – a little character development. I dearly LOVE my X-men, but they can easily get stagnant.

I feel that Wolverine finally sounds like himself again. Emma is SO wonderfully icy & bitchy & Beast has rarely been so pithy. Scott is such a tool (can I say that?) I’m glad at least now he has an interesting girlfriend. And I happily welcome the return of Kitty Pryde as a central character – I just love her & the character she’s grown into. The interaction of the team & their verbal sparring is so natural it makes for a delightful read.

Can I do SPOILERS now? Skip ahead if you don’t want or like details before you read. There were just a couple of cool moments that I wanted to mention so again I say – skip ahead if you like.

The first is not so much a spoiler – it’s just I love the way the first issue brings the team back together. There is no way I can do justice to the way the dialogue & storytelling builds up to the final reveal of the costumed team toward the end of the book. But when I turned the page to see that phenomenal two page spread of everyone in uniform & Cyclops saying “…we have to astonish them.” I am telling you – I got chills! I had one of my “happy girl” moments. *laughing* I know – could I BE a bigger freak?!?

Now this is TRUE SPOILER! But, to be fair, what are we on now – is issue 9 out? I get so out of touch… I’d be surprised if you haven’t at least seen a cover or two by now that would tip the book’s hand. Colossus is back! (Pausing for a moment to do a little happy dance). This gave me my other big “goose bump moment”.

Now being a squishy romantic girly-girl you might think I was going to talk about the Kitty/Colossus reunion. Sure, it is true I enjoyed every minute of it! I have a big soft spot for that particular coupling so I won’t pretend that I didn’t eat it up. And I’m woman enough to admit it – the cover of issue 6 where Kitty’s all melting into Colossus got me all hot & bothered. Migosh! I love that image!

So, aside from the obvious “jeez-won’t-anybody-stay-dead” factor I can’t see how Joss could have handled the big guy’s return more deftly. All the team member’s reactions to him were spot on.

Sorry! Wasn’t I supposed to be making a point about three paragraphs ago? Okay my other favorite moment was in issue 6. Ord is flying away & there’s no way to stop him, right? Oh no – in a beautiful moment that was a gift to those of us steeped in the X-men culture – it was a return of the “Fastball Special”! Yippee! The thing I love the most is that Joss, with his unique gift for finding the right words, for two pages, stepped back & let the pictures tell the story. The words “Fastball Special” were nowhere to be found in this issue – but WE knew. Perfect, I tell you….

Done with spoilers – you can come back now…. *grin*

I know I can’t be the only one who lets issues stack up for a few months then reads them all in a row for that continuity rush. Early issues of Astonishing X-men may be hard to find now (thank you Fritz for ALWAYS getting me a hook up! XOXO) but this is perfect for reading in the TPB format since the story has such a great flow.

Another title worth picking up is the re-launch of the Avengers. Since this seems to be “hugs & kisses day” *laughing* – Thank you David for the recommendation! XOXO This is a BIG turn-around for me because I have NEVER been able to get into the Avengers before.

I’ve read the “Essential Avengers” because, like all the other “Essential” TPBs I’ve picked up, I’m just interested in all the history & background I missed out on by not becoming a reader until my twenties. Ah, but it didn’t grab me. Neither did any of the random issues I tried.

This new version though has got me hooked! I think the team choices are neat and interesting (I know – I had to dig DEEP for those stellar descriptive adjective choices *grin*). The prison break set up was a great kick-off & again – I’m getting that good dialogue that I so earnestly crave.

They seem to be building a pretty attention-grabbing story – what’s going on with Jessica Drew, huh? I can’t wait to find out! I am sure that some, more clever than me, may have already figured it out. As much of a thinker as I am (or pretend to be *smile*) though – I STILL like to let the story tell itself. That’s the magic!

So, I look forward to good things from the new Avengers – I hope it stays strong. Oh, & for the uninitiated like me, it might be a good idea to pick up the Avengers Finale before jumping into the new series. It helps set the tone for where they pick up in issue one.

And last but not least – Good-bye She-Hulk! I’ll miss you. I see that after one year –it’s adios again for Jen Walters. Why won’t people read this title in any incarnation? Has it got “chick-book” stamped on it – is that is? Well, I don’t care what anybody says – I think She-Hulk is an outstanding superhero! Okay, well, not that Savage version – what was that all about?

You know what’s scary – I sat down with full intention of writing about a Batman TPB I just read – you can see how well that worked! But this is good news! Now I can jump straight into my next essay & there should be another one posted soon.

Uh-huh….and this is good news, WHY? *giggle*

As (I think) Oscar Wilde said – “Life is too important to be taken seriously”


Johnny Carson (1925-2005)

Rothe Blog Entertainment Johnny Carson

I know that I am a month late on this one, but, tough cookies.

Host from the late show from 1962-1992, Johnny Carson invented interest in late night talk shows.

Johnny had quite a storied background, from serving in the Navy in World War II, to ventriloquism and a radio announcer. Private and reserved, Carson kept his private life private, except for the announcement in 2002 that he was suffering from Lung Cancer due to a lifetime of smoking.

I never saw any of his shows, but just from what I hear, he was a great talent to miss.

Dinner at Christine’s with David

Rothe Blog Dinner Christine

David Wray stopped by at Christine’s on Tuesday night. He is flying out to Orlando on Wednesday, and thought this would be a good time to get together.

We had a great dinner of mexican food and ice cream, and then watched a lot of funny comedy central cartoons until we couldn’t stay awake anymore. From what I understand, Christine said that after we left she and David looked at some photos for quite awhile into the morning. Hard to believe that we met him just four months ago, because he has become a good friend really quick.

How do I create a rectangle by entering in specific dimensions?

In Illustrator, you have a something called the “Rectangle Tool”. So, let’s walk through how you can draw a rectangle with specific dimensions.Choose File > New – This will create a new canvas to work on. You can name the document here if you want. I am just going to call my document “Rectangle Test”.

Then choose your dimensions. For this exercise you can just choose the standard letter size canvas from the Artboard Setup > Size menu. Hit enter to accept this information and let’s get started.

On the left side of the screen you should see your Illustrator Tool pallette. It will look like this.

Rothe Blog Illustrator Tool Pallette Image

As you will notice, the fourth icon down on the right side of the toolbar looks like a little square. This is your “Rectangle Tool”. Click this with your mouse, and then click once anywhere on the canvas. You will then get a dialog box that looks like this;

Rothe Blog Illustrator Rectangle Size Dialog Image

This is where you can enter a specific size for a vector rectangle. For this example I just used my default settings as you see in the photo of 100 x 100 points.

How do I crop something in Illustrator? How do I use Clipping Masks?

This is a question I have gotten, and never gotten an acceptable answer. Because Illustrator is a vector program, where you create illustrations using complex shapes and colors, it isn’t really meant to edit a raster image like Photoshop would. Photoshop has the capability to crop an image to any size, but to achieve something of the same nature in Illustrator, you need to use what is known as a “Clipping Mask”.

Basically, what a “Clipping Mask” is, is a window to see an image through. You mask off the area you don’t want to see, and show through the area that you want to focus on.

This is how you make a mask. First, follow the steps below for making a new canvas. Now, let’s import a raster image, a .jpeg, a .tif, whatever type you into Illustrator.

Go to File > Place. Now choose an image from your computer to put into Illustrator.

You will now have what looks like an upsidedown 90 degree angle. This is the basically the upper corner of your image, and you need to set where you want this upper corner to set on your canvas. You do this by clicking once anywhere on the canvas, and the image will appear.

Now, like below, we are going to draw a rectangle on the canvas. Either you can click once and set the dimensions of your square, or you can select your “Rectangle Tool” and draw it by hand. When you select the tool, you will have a small cross-hairs. Click on the canvas once, hold, and drag your square out until it is the size you want. When you are satisfied with the dimensions, release your mouse.

Hopefully you have drawn the rectangle over the section of the image that you want to show through, but if not, just select the rectangle and move it. You move the rectangle by using the tool that is the solid black pointer. Click that tool, then click the rectangle, and move it to the desired position.

When you select the rectangle to move it, you will notice that it highlights the border in blue and has small little squares all around the perimeter. These are so you can scale the rectangle if you neeed. In order to make your mask, you will have to have the rectangle selected, then Hold Shift, and click the image also.

Now to make your mask.

Go up to Object > Clipping Path > Make, as you see in this screenshot below. This will show your mask.

Rothe Blog Clipping Mask Menu

This article is not exhaustive. You can release, or revert back to what you had in the beginning by releasing your mask with the menu option in the same area.

But what we are going to cover now is how to rasterize the dimensions of your masked image.

The bounding box, or blue highlighted box, will always retain the original dimensions of an image of a mask, no matter how small of an area you mask off. But, if you are satisfied with the mask, and know you won’t change what you have done later (Maybe your client is really great and won’t change their mind) then you can rasterize your mask. This will make you image not editable anymore, so make sure you don’t need to change it.

Select your image again with your black pointer selection tool and then go to Object > Rasterize. This will bring up a dialog box with a bunch of options.

For this example, you don’t need to change anything in particular. Just make sure that your color model is set to CMYK, and that your resolution is set to 300DPI. Click ok, and now your image is rasterized, and you won’t be able to go back and edit it.

Like I mentioned, you will still have the original bounding box. If you only want the actual size of the image to highlight when you click on it, then you will need to use the crop tool in a photo editing program like Photoshop, and then Place the image into your Illustrator file first.

I sincerely hopes this helps.

Adobe vs. Macromedia Stutz Building Indianapolis

Rothe Blog Adobe Day Photo 2
Rothe Blog Adobe Day Photo 3
Rothe Blog Adobe Day Photo 4
Rothe Blog Adobe Day Stutz Photo 1
Rothe Blog Adobe Day Stutz Photo 2

Here are some more photos from this past Thursday night. The top two are the inside restaurant at Fountain Square, and then a building outside in the surrounding area.

The third photo is Print Resources in the Stutz Gallery downstairs where the AIGA gathering was held. Then the bottom two, are kind of unconnected. But right across the hallway from the stairwell we take to the office, they knocked out two walls, and are going to remove what we found out is an old “bailer” to make a new, small, car gallery area like there is on the second floor. We always see Stutz vehicles in this general area, and well as mercedes and other nice vehicles, and since this is kind of one of those spots you see when you first walk in, I think it is a cool idea.

It is just weird to think about them knocking out whole structure walls in the middle of the building, and that they are over a hundred years old.

Adobe Creative Suite Tour at Fountain Square Theater

Rothe Blog Adobe Creative Suite Tour

Like I said, Fountain Square is a great old historical building with Duck Pin bowling upstairs, and downstairs had an old time cafe with all the old murals, illustrations, and Coke / Pepsi signs on the walls. Great place for some photography because you feel like you have stepped back in time.